What do you Consider Unique About Your EP Lab?

From 2004, Vol. 4, No. 8: At the University of Florida, they are a referral center for ablation of complex arrhythmias, lead extractions, and biventricular pacing. They perform almost equal amounts of ablations and device implants. From 2004, Vol. 4, No. 7: At Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, their lab is unique in that two very busy private practice EP groups manage to work together to perform over 2,000 cases in a single laboratory with a fixed schedule. They write that their EP lab staff is composed of motivated, dedicated, experienced and hard-working nurses who make their lab situation possible. From 2004, Vol. 4, No. 5: At St. Peter's Hospital in Albany, New York, they pride themselves on a phrase they have learned through their hospital s People Centered Teams education classes: There is no I in team. They try their very best every day to work together to accomplish their main goal, which is to provide the safest quality of care to a very special group of patients. They write that they read something in another facility s Spotlight Interview about spending more time at work in the EP lab than they do with their own family and friends. That rings true for them as well. They try to respect each other and give each other space as well. It is the only way to get through the long days and enjoy the normal ones! From 2004, Vol. 4, No. 4: At Medical City Heart, Dallas, Texas, their lab is unique because of their bright and dedicated team. Their goal is to have their team understand as much as possible, so they will be active participants in the procedures and be comfortable making suggestions. From 2004, Vol. 4, No. 3: At Tufts-New England Medical Center, Cardiac Arrhythmia Center, Boston, Massachusetts, their lab staff provides a multitude of RN and CVT backgrounds, which only enhances the care that is provided for their patients. They work with a great team perspective. Most importantly, patient safety and procedure success, in that order, is always their primary focus! From 2004, Vol. 4, No. 2: At St. Luke s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, the greatest strength of their EP laboratories would be the cooperative spirit of their staff and physicians. Their nursing staff works very closely with one another, covering each other, learning from each other, working closely with their physicians, and being very dedicated to the welfare of their patients. They try to be more knowledgeable about electrophysiology and its procedures to make sure their patients are comfortable. Their physicians extensively use the nursing staff to educate the patients and ensure that pre- and post-procedure communication is optimal. They have always enjoyed a close working relationship with nurses and physicians and consider themselves lucky. From 2003, Vol. 3, No. 9: At Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia (in conjunction with Emory University Hospital), they are deeply involved in physician education. Their labs are equipped with high-definition digital robotic cameras with direct connections to two on-site auditoriums. Up to 150 people may watch and interact with physicians on-site during live case demonstrations, and with the addition of satellite communications, they have transmitted case demonstrations to sites all over the world. They write that none of this is possible without their interested and willing complement of nurses and techs. From 2003, Vol. 3, No. 8: At St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan, they have a collegial and collaborative working environment, and each of them strives for an uncompromising goal: good care of their patients and efficient delivery of services for their referring physicians. Despite a busy clinical service in a private-practice setting, each of their physicians remains committed to research and teaching (including cardiology fellows from within their institution and other local programs). Dr. Pires has published several peer-reviewed articles in the past few years, and Dr. Hesselson recently authored a well-received book: Simplified Interpretation of Pacemaker ECGs. From 2003, Vol. 3, No. 7: At the UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center in Los Angeles, they have developed their program to be a regional resource for cardiac electrophysiology. Currently, they are one of the few centers in the country that routinely perform complex ablations (epicardial mapping ablation, operative mapping and complex congenital ablations) on a regular basis. They hope to serve practitioners and groups who want to help UCLA s evolution in this area. From 2003, Vol. 3, No. 6: At the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, they are a well-rounded EP lab. They do all sorts of procedures, and they do them very well. They are able to accommodate all kinds of pathology. Their location allows them to provide service to much of the surrounding areas, including central Massachusetts, northern Connecticut, northern Rhode Island, southern Vermont, southern New Hampshire, and occasionally southern Maine. From 2003, Vol. 3, No. 5: At the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City, Iowa, they have a collaborative environment that works. The members of the team are committed to developing a strong relationship for excellence in patient care. There are many checks and balances not present in other laboratories. All aspects of patient care in EP are formalized with specific protocols for each procedure and for conscious sedation. They have made an effort to make sure that every aspect of patient care flows effectively and includes all needed components. From 2003, Vol. 3, No. 3: At the University of Rochester Medical Center at Strong Memorial Hospital in New York, all staff (EP, Cath and all the support staff) work well together. Fridays are fun Friday s: they all wear the same tie-dye shirts, bring in their favorite foods, and throughout the day gather in the break room to relax, eat and enjoy each other s company. From 2003, Vol. 3, No. 2: At Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, they have had the same staff members over the past 4-5 years with very little turnover, so they have become a working family in the sense that they have learned to respect each other and accept one another s idiosyncrasies. Given the fact that they spend more time with each other than their own families, this aspect of their working relationships has become critical. Very often they can guess what each other is thinking without even speaking! Most of all, they all enjoy the continually changing and growing field of electrophysiology, which may be challenging, exasperating, and frustrating at times, but can also be immensely rewarding and is certainly never boring. As they like to say, it puts the ‘fun in dysfunctional! From 2003, Vol. 3, No. 1: At the Carle Heart Center in Urbana, Illinois, linear RA ablation of AF is perhaps what they are best known for. Dr. Kocheril developed a mapping technique for this. In the Revelation Tx phase III clinical (Cardima) trial, they are the leading enrolling site. They were the first center to use LocaLisa (Medtronic) mapping with Cardima catheters. They have had good success with laser-assisted lead extraction and receive patients from a wide referral base for this. Since Dr. Kocheril and Dr. Prasun are interested in CHF as well as EP, the clinical and research arms of their EP program delve into CHF matters. Because of their early entry into biventricular pacing (via a clinical trial), Dr. Kocheril has served as a proctor to assist other centers in getting started. Dr. Prasun presented her study with a diuretic titration protocol at the AHA Annual Scientific Sessions in November of 2002 and earned the Martha N. Hill Young Investigator Award. Both Dr. Kocheril and Dr. Prasun are specialty advisors to the Medicare Coordinated Care Demonstration project for CHF and AF (Carle is one of 15 sites in the country chosen to be in this trial). The EP lab staff, the pacemaker/ICD clinic, office staff, advanced practice nurse, and two MDs work together in an integrated fashion, allowing their EP program to be successful. They share a passion and enjoy what they do. From 2002, Vol. 2, No. 6: At Mercy Heart Institute in Sacramento, California, their facility offers comprehensive, high-quality cardiovascular care that includes surgical and interventional programs, as well as an active Research Department. They have a dedicated EP staff, supportive electrophysiologists, and administrative support that gives them access to the best modalities of treatment for their EP patients. They stay actively involved in the cutting edge technologies through participation in research trials for pharmaceuticals, catheters, and implantable devices. From 2002, Vol. 2, No. 5: At Einstein Heart Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, they all work together and flex to accommodate their patients. They have strong relationships with all of their patients. Their staff is dedicated to caring for patients, educating themselves and others, and working to accommodate the needs of their patient population. They write that their nurses and staff deserve the highest recognition for their dedication to their education, their profession, and most of all to their patients. From 2002, Vol. 2, No. 2: At Saint Vincent Heart Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, they are different from most EP labs because they are privately employed by the Cardiology Group. This close association between the hospital and cardiologists allows them to operate at maximum efficiency and maintain the highest quality. When not working, seven members from their Heart Center also participate on a hospital-sponsored ice hockey team. Their team is doing pretty well, but they write they have not quit our day jobs yet! From 2002, Vol. 2, No. 1: At the EMH Regional Healthcare System, which is part of a two-hospital system with campuses in Elyria and Amherst, Ohio, their EP lab is unique in that they are very timely. They utilize a charge person to handle the daily changing schedule and keep the staff and physicians informed of changes and add-ons. All RNs rotate as a designated charge person. Their staff also chooses to transport patients to and from the lab even though their institution has a transportation system. With staff transporting, the turnaround time is very quick. Their electrophysiologists mainly attend to the EP patient and their families, while the non-invasive cardiologist attends to other cardiac patients. Their efficiency in turnover of patients not only benefits the patient and his/her family, but allows staff to have very little overtime. They have 8- and 10-hour shifts and begin their day promptly by 7:00 a.m. In addition, their Device Clinic is unique for its educational services and its internal cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) support group. All patients are given an invitation to attend a quarterly small group session. At these meetings, an informative video is shown, followed by a question and answer session. In the fall, they have an outdoor picnic at a local retreat center, which is attended by 100-150 patients and their families. They also have a Christmas program, which includes a educational speaker or entertainment, light refreshments, and door prizes. One of their patients, who has an ICD implant, generates a Support Group Newsletter that is published quarterly. There is also a committee of patients who have implants that meet on a regular basis to organize meetings and educational speakers. From 2001, Vol. 1, No. 2: At Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., their patient population represents a broad cross-section from all parts of the United States and Europe. Their staff members also reflect the diversity of geography and ethnicity in the military. Their patient population is generally younger than that of other labs, with 32% of their EP patient population under the age of 21 and only 35% of their patients over the age of 65. In other labs in the United States, 85% of all cases involve AVNRT; at WRAMC, only 13% of their patients present with AVNRT. They are also unique in that they are a showcase lab for Phillips Medical Systems, so they are visited by representatives of cath labs from all over the U.S. Additionally, they are frequently visited by high-ranking military and federal government officials, as well as foreign dignitaries. The most unique aspect of their lab is that they are one of only two electrophysiology labs in the world where the staff is required to wear black berets to work (the other is Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam in Houston, Texas).